Memorial Day weekend here in Indiana was hot and sunny. I spent Memorial Day with my mom, helping her do some planting in her market garden. You can already tell where I’m going with this post, can’t you?
It was hot, we were in the country, and we were doing hard physical labor. I decided to wear a fairly skimpy top and shorts, since it was just us girls. I even remembered to put on sunscreen.
What I forgot was how difficult it is to cover all the important spots by yourself. I know it’s a commonly-used come-on to ask someone to help you with your sunscreen, but there’s a practical reason to ask for help. And unfortunately I didn’t think to ask Mom for her help.
No, I went merrily on with the work, stopping every ten minutes to drink half a bottle of water. I put a lot of effort into staying hydrated and not overexerting in the heat. Good for me. We got all kinds of planting done and neither of us collapsed with heat stroke, and we were feeling pretty good about ourselves.
Or at least, I was…right up until bedtime, when I realized my back was really sore.
Yep, you guessed it — I’d missed huge swaths of skin with my sunscreen, and the resulting sunburn was not only painful, but funny-looking.
You think getting your back covered with sunscreen is hard as a single person? Try putting aloe vera on by yourself! Not only are you trying to smear sticky, gooey stuff on hard-to-reach parts of your back, you’re also trying to do it without increasing the pain you’re already feeling! I’m sure my cats thought I was crazy for going through a series of contortions in front of the mirror while mostly naked. I’m just glad neither of them decided it was a dance they should join in. I can’t imagine a cat scratch on top of sunburn!
But I survived, and the pain has mostly faded. I’ve had an itchy back for the past few days, but that’s been a little easier to deal with.
So next time some random person comes up and asks you to rub their sunscreen in, just remember–they might be hitting on you, but they might just be a weirdo like me who doesn’t want zebra-striped tan lines.
This is part of my [100 Things About Being Single] series.